Easy Prey by Catherine Lo
Only three students had access to a teacher’s racy photos before they went viral. There’s Mouse, a brainy overachiever so desperate to escape his father and go to MIT that he would do almost anything, legal or not. Then there’s Drew, the star athlete who can get any girl’s number—and private photos—with his charm but has a history of passing those photos around. And finally there’s Jenna, a good girl turned rebel after her own shocking photos made the rounds at school last year, who is still waiting for justice. All three deny leaking the photos, but someone has to take the fall. This edgy whodunit tackles hot-button issues of sexting and gossip and will have readers tearing through the pages to reach the final reveal.
This book surprised me. In a good way, of course. I started reading it and wasn’t too sure what to expect, the premise is interesting. Someone has leaked “nudes” of their teacher and it appears it has to be at least one of them (who had a project together), but the question is who is it?
The book had me guessing for a big part of it (mostly because I kinda suspected who it was, but I kept telling myself that wasn’t what was happening, there was no way… well, yes way!) but it kept me wanting to read more, to find out how exactly they went from becoming a team to this disaster.
Why would anyone leak the pictures? Was someone outside of them trying to frame them? So many questions, and it was nicely wrapped up at the end.
One of my favourite characters was Jenna’s mother. And it was interesting to see what family and life situations were behind each of the three main characters. I liked that it wasn’t just doing cliches, but rather asking why do we follow the cliche? And it was a good read.
(This is so hard to review because I want to gush about the ending and who actually did it, but I can say that it was a genius idea and I really really loved it).
What I can say is that it is a very feminist read. It was in a way empowering and it also questioned a lot of what happens when nudes are leaked on the internet. How it affects the parties involved in different ways. And how it is usually the girl’s fault for letting someone take the pictures (which is very unfair! this is done under trust and there is not a consent on them being shared online to everyone) with little consequences for the one who took them and the one wo leaked them. It does well in making you ask those interesting questions about gender roles and gender expectations, specially during teenage years, when you define your “role” in life a little more and try to find who you are and where you stand.
All in all, this was a good “mystery” and it was also a good “thinking” piece, and feminist.
For feminist reads and the mystery, Easy Prey definitely wins. I would also recommend One of Us is Lying (it touches more on the effects of expectations and social media and relationships) and It Ends With You (it touches on social cues and prejudices, more scary).